“Blow Boys Blow (Songs Of The Sea)” by Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - album review

TJR says

Sea songs and shanties sung by A.L. Lloyd and Ewan MacColl, accompanied by Alf Edwards (concertina), Ralph Rinzler (guitar, banjo and mandolin) and Steve Benbow (guitar). There's not a bad song on this fine set, ably veering from the rambunctious to the sensitive as required. In his excellent liner notes, A.L. Lloyd writes a well-informed paragraph about each song; this is what he had to say about my side one standout, “Handsome Cabin Boy”:

“The Handsome Cabin Boy portrays a common sailor's dream that among the crew is a girl dressed as a boy. Oddly enough, in songs based on this fantasy, it is nearly always an officer who discovers the girl's identity. In this case the plight of the pregnant cabin “boy” might be considered tragic, seen from the girl's viewpoint. But as sailors see it, the situation is inexhaustibly comic. The version of this much-loved ballad that is sung here is unusual for the unequivocal role played by the captain's wife.”

Of my favourites on side 2 (“Whup Jamboree” and “Paddy West”) this is what he had to say:

“Whup Jamboree is one of the wildest and most exultant of homeward-bound shanties. The progress through the English Channel and into London River goes as a fast clip, and all hand are looking forward eagerly to what the girls ashore have to offer. From its references to Blackwell Dock, this shanty, used for work at the capstan, apparently rose among sailors in the Far East run.”

“Mr West is a redoubtable figure in the folklore of the sea. He was a Liverpool boarding-house keeper in the latter days of sail, who provided ship captains with crews, as a side-line. He would guarantee that every man he supplied had crossed the Line and been round the Horn several times. In order to say so with a clear conscience, he gave greenhorns a curious course in seamanship, described in this jesting ballad. It was a great favourite with “Scouse” (Liverpool) sailors.

I understand this was one of Captain Beefheart's favourite records and that's a sure-fire seal of approval for the authenticity within the all-invested delivery.

The Jukebox Rebel
17-Apr-2018


A1 [02:33] 7.0.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Row Bullies Row (Traditional) Folk
A2 [00:45] 6.2.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Paddy Doyle (Traditional) Folk
A3 [01:24] 5.7.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Wild Goose Shanty (Traditional) Folk
A4 [02:50] 6.0.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - While Cruising Around Yarmouth (Traditional) Folk
A5 [00:27] 6.0.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Old Billy Riley (Traditional) Folk
A6 [04:39] 8.0.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Handsome Cabin Boy (Traditional) Folk
A7 [02:19] 6.6.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - South Australia (Traditional) Folk
A8 [01:35] 6.3.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Blow, Boys, Blow (Traditional) Folk
B1 [01:19] 7.1.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Whup Jamboree (Traditional) Folk
B2 [03:22] 6.4.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Banks Of Newfoundland (Traditional) Folk
B3 [01:50] 6.0.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Whiskey Johnny (Traditional) Folk
B4 [03:28] 7.0.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Do Me Ama (Traditional) Folk
B5 [02:09] 6.9.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Jack Tar (Traditional) Folk
B6 [04:22] 7.2.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Paddy West (Traditional) Folk
B7 [00:42] 6.6.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - Haul On Bowline (Traditional) Folk
B8 [01:10] 6.5.png Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - A Hundred Years Ago (Traditional) Folk




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